IMG 4630

Minenräumgerät “Dreschflegel”

In the course of the Second World War, mines proved to be one of the most effective weapons to thwart an enemy tank offensive from the outset. It was often the case that thousands of mines were laid as part of defensive lines, to consolidate key points and slow down the enemy.

Clearing mines by hand was a dangerous and time-consuming task. While some basic tools existed for the job, an effective mechanical mine-clearer would mean a huge advantage. Both the Allies and Axis powers developed various mechanical mine clearing systems of varying quality and usefulness. Even though the Wehrmacht was forced into the defensive time and time again, development of mine clearing systems carried on until the bitter end – in a time they were expected to chiefly lay mines and not necessarily clear them.

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Hillersleben Hill Climbing Competition

Rüstungstagung in Hillersleben

In this article I’d like to discuss a relatively unknown armaments conference, held at the Hillersleben artillery range on June 6 and 7, 1943. This Rüstungstagung was presided by Reichsminister Albert Speer and attended by leaders from the armaments industry, high-ranking Nazi officials as well as senior officers. Unlike during the regular Vorführungen neuer Waffen, Hitler was not present. The programme consisted of meetings and demonstrations of the latest and greatest German as well as captured equipment.

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The Sherman M4A1 is easily recognised by its cast hull with the characteristic rounded shape. This vehicle is of the Easy Eight (E8) series which means it is fitted with both an upgraded M1 76 mm gun… Read More »M4A1E8